ZocdocAnswersWhy do I keep getting an ingrown toenail?

Question

Why do I keep getting an ingrown toenail?

The big toe on my right foot keeps getting ingrown. It will heal and then it is right back to being ingrown like a week later. Why does this keep happening? Is there any way to prevent ingrown toenails?

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you are having such trouble with this issue. As you know, ingrown toenails occur when the nail begins to press into the tissue on the side of the nail. In addition to being very uncomfortable, this can lead to problems with chronic infections of the nail fold, which are known as paronychia. One of the main causes of ingrown toenails is wearing shoes that are too tight. Therefore, one easy step to take might be to make sure that you always wear comfortable, supportive shoes. You should also talk with either your primary care doctor or a podiatrist to make sure there is no evidence of infection, or paronychia. If so you may need to take antibiotics to help clear up the infection. In recurrent cases of ingrown toenails, a podiatrist is an especially useful resources. They can perform special nail splinting procedures and can also cut the nails in special ways to try to reduce recurrence of the problem. They can also take a look at the types of shoes you are wearing and determine whether or not you might needs specially designed orthotics footwear. Set up a visit with your doctor at your earliest convenience.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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